Tap to inquire

Exploring the Gorilla Life Cycle – Stages and Growth

A gorilla’s life cycle starts with a gestation period, which takes about 8.5 weeks.

The gestation period in gorillas can be identified by swollen knuckles. Female mountain gorillas typically give birth at night and can do so at any time of the year.

During your gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda, you will encounter gorillas of various ages, from young to old.

If you are fortunate, you may even have the opportunity to see a newborn gorilla.

The Gorilla Life Cycle

Gorillas have a very low birth rate, producing offspring every four to six years and having only 1-2 fertile days in a month.

Once they conceive and give birth, they will not mate again until the baby gorilla is 4-6 years old. A female gorilla can produce only 2-6 offspring in a lifetime.

When a baby mountain gorilla is born, it’s called an infant and breastfeeds on the mother’s milk until 3-4 years of age.

They are born weighing about 4 pounds and are vulnerable. They start sitting up and walking at 3-4 months from birth.

The mother carries the baby until about 6 months when they can cling to their mother’s back until 4-6 years of age.

Sometimes, infant male mountain gorillas can be killed when the leadership of the group changes or when the mother joins another group.

This is done by a Silverback with the fear that the young males might grow and take over dominance. When an infant reaches 4-8 years, they are known as juvenile gorillas.

At this age, they can perform most activities independently, but it doesn’t mean they are mature. They can weigh 60-70 kilograms during this period.

At the age of 10-15 years, a gorilla is considered an adult, and males become blackbacks.

Females reach sexual maturity by this age before the males.

Male gorillas will continue to grow, while females might stop growing taller and only gain weight.

When male blackbacks start growing a patch of grayish hair on their backs, they become Silverbacks, marking the final stage of a gorilla’s life cycle.

At this age, males stop growing in size and weight. The average lifespan of a gorilla is 35-40 years.

Gorilla FAQs & Information

  1. Why Can’t You Look or Make Eye Contact with a Gorilla?
  2. Why Silverback Gorillas Fight
  3. Importance of Mountain Gorillas
  4. What to do when a gorilla charges on you
  5. What is The Largest Species of Gorillas?
  6. What is a Group of Gorillas Called?
  7. What is the Mountain Gorillas Role in The Ecosystem?
  8. The Mountain Gorilla Defense Mechanism
  9. How to Provoke/Annoy a Gorilla
  10. How Gorillas Greet Each Other
  11. Do All Gorillas Become Silverbacks?
  12. Do Gorillas like Humans
  13. Do gorillas Eat of Kill Their Babies?
  14. Do Gorillas Eat Humans?
  15. Can you Tame a Gorilla
  16. Can you Own a Gorilla?
  17. Do Mountain Gorillas live in Families & Groups?
  18. How to Protect & Save Mountain Gorillas
  19. Why Gorillas Are So Strong
  20. How Many Humans Does it Take to Beat a Gorilla?
  21. How do you call a Baby Gorilla?
  22. How Do Gorillas Sleep?
  23. How Mountain Gorillas Communicate
  24. The Gorilla Life Cycle
  25. Do Gorillas drink water?
  26. Are Gorillas friendly & gentle to humans?
  27. Why do Apes, Gorillas beat their chest & sound hollow?
  28. Gorilla Threats: Why Mountain Gorillas were endangered?
  29. Why were Mountain Gorillas going extinct?
  30. What is a Silverback Gorilla?
  31. Gorilla Species: Different Kinds/Types of Gorilla & Breeds
  32. Mountain Gorilla Diet
  33. Mountain Gorilla Size, Average Height & Weight Measurements
  34. Natural Mountain Gorilla Predators
  35. Mountain Gorilla Population
  36. Lifespan of Mountain Gorillas
  37. Mountain Gorilla Natural Habitat
  38. Mountain Gorilla Conservation Efforts
  39. Mountain Gorilla Behavior
  40. How to Survive a Gorilla Attack on Humans
  41. Are Gorillas Dangerous to the People
  42. Why are Gorillas Poached in Africa
  43. How Gorillas Adapt to Rain-forest Environment
  44. Interesting Facts about Mountain Gorillas in Africa
  45. Traits, Qualities & Characteristics of Mountain Gorillas
  46. How Strong is a Silverback Gorilla?
  47. Best Place to See Mountain Gorillas in Africa
  48. Uganda Gorilla Families
  49. Rwanda Gorilla Families
  50. Congo Gorilla Families

Featured in:

How we work

To offer a more rewarding way to travel, we do stuff the right way; right from the planning process.

We pay attention

We will spend time and pay attention to your expectations, then propose an experience that you might like.

We complement

Next we will discuss our selected options, point out the best safaris for you and make awesome recommendations.

We hold your booking

We will tentatively hold your booking and make reservations while we talk through the safari details or make changes.

Speak to an expert to start planning your African safari holiday...

Give a call to one of our specialists or arrange a video meeting/session for awesome ideas and safari advice.

+256 787 23 0575
Eddie Safari Guide
Ronnie Safari Guide